Motor dysfunction and neurodegeneration in a C9orf72 mouse line expressing poly-PR

Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 2;10(1):2906. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10956-w.


A GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in intron 1 of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia. Repeat-associated non-ATG translation of dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs) contributes to the neuropathological features of c9FTD/ALS. Among the five DPRs, arginine-rich poly-PR are reported to be the most toxic. Here, we generate a transgenic mouse line that expresses poly-PR (GFP-PR28) specifically in neurons. GFP-PR28 homozygous mice show decreased survival time, while the heterozygous mice show motor imbalance, decreased brain weight, loss of Purkinje cells and lower motor neurons, and inflammation in the cerebellum and spinal cord. Transcriptional analysis shows that in the cerebellum, GFP-PR28 heterozygous mice show differential expression of genes related to synaptic transmission. Our findings show that GFP-PR28 transgenic mice partly model neuropathological features of c9FTD/ALS, and show a role for poly-PR in neurodegeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / genetics
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis / physiopathology*
  • Animals
  • C9orf72 Protein / genetics*
  • C9orf72 Protein / metabolism
  • Dipeptides / genetics*
  • Dipeptides / metabolism
  • Dipeptides / toxicity
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Female
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Motor Activity


  • C9orf72 Protein
  • Dipeptides
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins